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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don`t read it in the Dark
I used to work as an colliery electrician patrolling the black, silent miles of tunnels alone, so I usually took a book with me to pass the time. I took this book one day, could not put it down, read it in one shift and have never been so glad to find another human being in my life.
O.K. Some of the dialogue may seem a bit dated compared to modern styles but this...
Published on 23 Jan 2009 by Sleath

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Start good, gets a bit boring for a while after
really good beginning of the book but Dracula does not appear for quite a while after and gets a little bit boring.
Published 11 months ago by wild


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don`t read it in the Dark, 23 Jan 2009
This review is from: Dracula (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
I used to work as an colliery electrician patrolling the black, silent miles of tunnels alone, so I usually took a book with me to pass the time. I took this book one day, could not put it down, read it in one shift and have never been so glad to find another human being in my life.
O.K. Some of the dialogue may seem a bit dated compared to modern styles but this only adds to the atmosphere and creates a truly creepy novel unlike anything I have ever read.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dracula - restricted diet (no vegetables please), 21 July 2004
By 
Sally-Anne "mynameissally" (Leicestershire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dracula (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Most weekends when we were teenagers, my friend and I took the early evening bus (you can tell it was a long time ago because there was a regular and reliable bus service) into the local market town to watch whatever film Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee were starring in at the cinema - usually some variation of Dracula. More recently I've enjoyed Francis Ford Coppola's "Bram Stoker's Dracula". It's high time I got round to reading the original book. So now I have and I listened to the audiobook as well. It's a great story: very imaginative, creepy and atmospheric. To my surprise, I enjoyed the book more than any of the films - and I enjoyed the films a lot. Bram Stoker's Dracula story isn't very much like Coppola's "Bram Stoker's Dracula" - as good as that film was, and I had imagined that he'd called it "Bram Stoker's Dracula" because he'd followed the original story closely, but nothing of the sort.
The book has aged rather well, I think. The style is unlike any modern book I've read and is written as a series of journals, diary entries, letters, memoranda and newspaper articles, so the reader sees the events from various angles. Great use is made of the modern technology and scientific theories of the time. Dr Seward keeps his diary using a phonograph, Mina and Jonathan Harker use shorthand, Mina transcribes all the diaries on her typewriter and "knits" them into a sensible order. Use is also made of the very peculiar and sometimes dangerous medicine and psychology of the period. Dr Van Helsing is a medical doctor. He performs blood transfusions (blood groups are not an issue it seems) and the blood is pumped straight from the arms of no fewer than 3 men into the body of one anaemic girl. Really, it would be surprising to us if she didn't die - what a stroke of luck if the blood groups all just happened to be compatible. This sort of thing really did happen in the early days of blood transfusions though. She was fortunate to get human blood - dogs, sheep, horses and all sorts were tried experimentally in earlier, real-life cases. Dr Seward is a psychologist and his analysis of his patient, Renfield is pretty strange. But man of medicine, Dr Van Helsing, also dabbles in psychology and his analysis of Dracula is even more peculiar. He concludes that Dracula has a child's brain and this whacky analysis helps them to work out what the old devil's up to and how they can best hunt him. Again, as nutty as this might seem to the modern reader, it worked well enough in a Gothic horror. In any case, readers of horror stories should already have suspended their disbelief in preparation to enjoy the story and I don't think this story will disappoint anyone who enjoys a good horror story.
The audiobook was good too. I thought the actors performed very well and, with the music, they managed to generate a very sinister atmosphere. My only criticism of the audio version is the editing and that's just a small criticism because it must have been difficult to edit this book down to slightly less than 4 hours. Some of the scenes that were missed made a few other scenes that were included, seem puzzling. I listened to the audiobook before reading the book and I found it a bit disjointed until reading the book filled in the gaps for me. Other than that, I think Naxos did a splendid job. I recommend both the book and the audiobook.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The daddy of vampire fiction, 3 Oct 2012
This review is from: Dracula (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
I'll be honest, I've only actually read `Dracula' once before - when I was twenty or so - and didn't really think much of it. Jonathan Harker's opening narrative seemed to me, then, slow and uninvolving and I believe I thought the rest of the book not much of an improvement. One of the joys of art - be it books, films or music - is that you can come back to something with fresh eyes at a later point in your life and appreciate it in a whole different way. `Dracula', this time around, has been a fantastically entertaining surprise. So much so that I wish I could go back to my twenty year old self, peel back his skull and try to work out what the Hell he was thinking.

Written in 1897, the book can be seen as very much part of an English `fin de siècle'; art created at the end of the glorious Victorian age which nevertheless reveals anxiety about the world around it. `Dracula' actually sees the old and the new come together, with a member of the aristocracy working hand in hand with gentlemen of the professions (doctors, a lawyer), as well as an American gentleman, to stop a threat facing London. The Upper Classes and the new Middle Classes joining so harmoniously together without comment on their distinctions, is something quite modern for the Victorian novel. (The Working Classes also put in an appearance, although they are pretty much illiterate and drunk, however they do recognise their betters. Other writers would create books for them). There are also new fangled inventions like the phonograph, and the great wonders of transport created in the Victorian age are put to great use.

And yet, there is a constant threat of the unknown. A visitor from a country at the far edge of Europe reaches in and disrupts the harmony of this secure world. He is something beyond the great achievements of science, a creature who is old and bloody and threatens to take this civilised and ordered world back to the dark ages. He is also decadently sensual, having no respect for the morals of vulnerable young women. Evidently this is the type of monster who needs to be stopped, but can even the greatness of the Victorian age stamp him out?

Undoubtedly Stoker did his research into Victorian folklore, as his knowledge is smeared across the pages. Indeed there are numerous scenes of gore and violence which stand up even now (particularly the fate of Lucy in the graveyard) and it all builds to a genuinely exciting chase sequence. Like `Frankenstein', it isn't perfect: the character of Dracula himself vanishes to the background a little too much; some of the melding together of the differing narratives is extremely clunky; and, once Mina is chosen by Dracula for his prey, would these people really not suspect what was happening? However, I will write every one of those off as quibbles. My twenty year old self was wrong, `Dracula' is a scary and thrilling read, which still deserves to stand as the Daddy of vampire fiction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Count me in, 30 Nov 2010
By 
S. Meadows (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dracula (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
It seemed about time that to read this gothic classic. It didn't seem right to read it during the summer, given it's dark nature, so I waited for cold, dark and rainy November before reading it.

Like so many classics, I could have given you a reasonable appraisal of the plot before I'd even read it. However, vampire folklore has become so convoluted in recent years with the pop culture of Buffy, Twilight and True Blood that it could be hard to discern the wheat from the chaff. However, I hoped to come to this with as open a mind as possible. The book is divided into two very distinct parts. The opening third of the book is set in Transylvania, and gives the account of Jonathan Harker's time as a guest in Castle Dracula. This section reads almost like a short story, with the rest of the book being tagged on the end to make it into a novel.

The style of writing is that of a composition of letters, journals, telegrams and memoranda from various characters, although Stoker has spent little effort in distinguishing the individual voices from their writings. i.e. all the characters write with the same mannerisms. This makes the book feel like an early literary equivalent of "found footage" films such as The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, and I think that they do owe some debt to Stoker for this style.

This first third is an absolute masterpiece and the zenith of gothic fiction. The remainder, where the action moves to England, is still good, but doesn't quite live up to the blistering opening. There are a number of new characters suddenly introduced into the plot, though the author only expands on a few of these, with 2 characters in particular, having a very similar role in the book, though with little to distinguish between them. The flow of the book is very good for the most part, though Stoker's keen interest in hypnotism led him to use it as a plot device in some places, which left me feeling a bit cheated, considering how contrived it felt.

But that shouldn't detract from a classic book. While it has been copied and derived from since, none have come close to Stoker's original. I would highly recommend this to anyone considering reading it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute thrill, 23 Nov 2010
By 
Tabitha Eccles (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dracula (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
I started to read this as it was on the reading list for a paper I was taking. I took the first 100 pages on as a bit of a chore and then shortly after that became absolutely gripped by the story, reading until my head hurt. This is a classic that has thrill enough to compete with any book in history and is written in an interesting style that allows the story to be told from many different points of view. A great read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The original and best Vampire novel, 11 Oct 2010
This review is from: Dracula (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
This is the classic, original and best novel about vampires (none of that Twilight around here!!). It begins with Jonathan Harker going to meet the mysterious Count Dracula, who is looking to buy a house in England. Count Dracula comes to England (via Whitby - which is where I read the book!), and bites Lucy, who is a friend of Mina, Jonathan's wife. Her doctor, Dr Seward, is joined by Dr Van Helsing, and together with Mina, Jonathan, Arthur and another man who's name I can't remember! seek out Dracula and set out to destroy him, to stop him biting anyone else. Thats actually just a terrible description of a great book! It is very easy to read, although the first time I read it I was a bit put off by the "diary" style, but as you get into it it really draws you in. Recommended to everyone who enjoys a good, well written story, especially those who have only read Twilight and think that is all vampires are about...!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget the Hollywood adapatations, 24 Sep 2010
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This review is from: Dracula (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Forget the Hollywood adapatations. This is the tried and true original and is much more of a buddy novel than a love story. While it does follow the courtship of Mina and Joanathan, there is zero love between the count and Mina as portrayed in the 1990's film adaptation. If you are into hokey special effects and botched storylines, then by all means watch the movie. This on the other hand is a great book, and a very interesting story. Its layed out as several intertwined diaries, letters, and for those who really research what they are reading, you will find it an interesting lesson in geography
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dracula, 22 July 2009
This review is from: Dracula (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Was not sure quite what to expect with this novel, but ended up quite enjoying it. Over the years I have come across many TV/Film adaptations of this story, and to be honest did not really enjoy any of them too much. I recently finished Interview with a Vampire by Ann Rice, however, and decided it would only be fair to give Stoker's a go as being the inspiration for so much that has come since.

The first half of this novel is excellent. It sets the mood perfectly, and is very atmospheric, unsettling and creepy. The section at the beginning with Jonathan Harker is downright scary. The Count is a classic horror creation, leaving terror and death in his wake as he makes his way to England.

Once Van Helsing and the gang begin the hunt however, I felt that Dracula loses a lot of his mystique and his power to scare, which was one of the main reasons the book was so enjoyable.

I also feel that the standard of the novel began to dip somewhere around the middle, with many chapters dragging on, and when the end finally comes it is a severe anti-climax.

Still, on the whole I did enjoy this more than any of the films. Would recommend Interview with a Vampire for a more consistent and enjoyable read, but Stoker's Dracula is well worth a look if only for its place in history as the book which brought vampires into the mainstream.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Where the devil and his children still walk with earthly feet "., 11 July 2009
By 
russell clarke "stipesdoppleganger" (halifax, west yorks) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dracula (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
A mate of mine always relates a story pertaining to our childhood where when he was off playing army or cowboys and Indians , I and whoever I could persuade at the time, were off playing vampires -hiding in tree's though what that has to do with vampires is anybody's guess. Vampires have fascinated me since I first came to these shores in 1736...no only kidding , since I was very small. The Hammer Dracula films left an indelible imprint on my fermenting but feverish imagination and as soon as I was able to afford it(paper-round money ) I bought Bram Stokers 1897 novel .Even my unsophisticated teenage mind knew it was dealing with a literary classic and having re-read again it recently for the first time in a long time my unsophisticated adult mind has come to the same conclusion .It a gothic masterpiece, it's a horror masterpiece ...in fact lets just say it's a masterpiece.
The novel is told in an epistolary style , that is the novel is mainly composed of journal entries and letters written by several narrators who also serve as the novel's main characters . It seems unnecessary to go over any of the plot only to say that as well as mining European folklore and stories of vampires, Stokers novel also explores the role of women in Victorian culture, conventional and conservative sexuality, immigration, colonialism, superstition and the cutting edge (then ) of medical science and theory's .
The Victorians viewed it ostensibly as a rollicking adventure novel but it only received the attention and notoriety we take for granted nowadays when the film industry picked up on the appeal of vampires lore. And talking of lore it is oft mentioned that Stoker used Vlad III Dracula (or Vlad the Impaler ) and Countess Bathory as inspirations for the novel .
Whatever his inspiration Stoker created a distinctly memorable character in the rapacious Count but rather like Thomas Harris did with Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs made the character hunting the villain just as memorable. Van Helsing is at one and the same time a man of science familiar with the latest trends and technologies yet is also open to the existence of a supernatural being , which of course hard men of science would mock and eschew.
Even though the main character is not in the narrative as much as we would like the book has a beautifully and expertly realised air of creepy tension and is thick with atmosphere. I sat at my computer desk for a good fifteen minutes struggling to think of another novel that so adroitly conveys feelings and situations as palpable as Dracula and eventually came up with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (Wordsworth Classics): Or, the Modern Prometheus ( bit lame that I know ) and another vampire novel ,and a sadly overlooked at that Skipp And Spectors wonderful The Light at the End. I'm not a big fan but Stephen Kings Salem's Lot is pretty replete with dread heavy ambience too.
Vampire fiction has been badly served of late with lightweight vampire as bleached hotty fare like Twilight (Twilight Saga) .Yet for every work of lightweight fluff like that here is something wonderful like Let the Right One in that comes at the genre from a withering new angle.
Fair to say though that Dracula is the king of the vampire and that Bram Stokers book is still , 112 years on ,still the king of vampire novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite book, by a distance., 10 Oct 2008
By 
D. J. Darroch-Thompson (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dracula (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
If you have not read this book, read it. Now. I have read it many times, and it keeps getting better. Stoker's descriptive language is wonderful, painting such a vivid picture in the reader's mind that you really feel like you are there. It is such a shame that nowadays no-one can read it without already knowing Dracula's identity, as Stoker builds the tension masterfully.

Do not watch Dracula films, read this book. You develop empathy with all the characters, and learn to admire the peerless Van Helsing.

A wonderful book, worthy of more than 5 stars.
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Dracula (Wordsworth Classics)
Dracula (Wordsworth Classics) by Bram Stoker (Paperback - 1 April 1993)
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